WESTWORLD RECAP S1EP4 DISSONANCE THEORY

Paul Mendoza

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 “This world. I think there may be something wrong with this world. Either that or there’s something wrong with me. I may be losing my mind.”  Delores

There are more pieces to the puzzle but I can’t make out the picture yet. The information is doled out a drip at a time and you have to catch it fast before it falls into the sand. You have to be alert if you wish to make it through The Maze.

BERNIE AND DELORES

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Bernie has another chat with Delores:

“Do you know where you are?”
“In a dream”

What is the point of these conversations? Bernie must know what he’s doing and why but I can’t quite pinpoint it.

“Everyone I cared about is gone and I hurt so badly”, she tells him.
“I can take that away from you if you like.”

“The pain, their loss, is all I have left of them.”

This the same thing Bernie said to his wife last week about his son. She is definitely being affected by Bernie, almost by osmosis, his humanity is seeping into her.

“There is a game, a secret. It’s called The Maze.  The goal is to find the center of it. If you can do that then maybe you can be free.” Bernie tells her.

“I think I want to be free.”

She then finds herself back with William at camp. She still has her gun. How is he taking her back to the lab and putting her back without anyone knowing? Is this just all in her mind? Also, whenever the hosts are in the lab they are completely naked but when Delores is with Bernie she remains fully clothed.

WILLIAM AND DELORES

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William wants to take Delores back to Sweetwater but Logan lays in on him so they bring her along on their hunt for their outlaw. Security notices that Delores is off course and not in her loop so they send someone to retrieve her.  When they arrive at Lawrence’s village ‘the sheriff’ approaches Delores. “You’re the farmer’s daughter who has gone missing. We need to get you back to your father”, he tells her.

“My father’s dead. I’m not going back” Delores says.  The sheriff becomes stern and grabs her arm but just then William comes along and tells him that she’s with him.  The sheriff relents and lets them go on their way.

Delores also runs across Lawrence’s daughter.

“Where are you from?” Delores asks.

“Same as you. Don’t you remember?” she tells her.

Then Delores hears a voice in her head – “Remember” – Is that Arnold’s voice?

The little girl is drawing in the dirt. It’s a drawing of The Maze.

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William and Delores walk out into the night and have a heart to heart.

He asks where she’s headed but she doesn’t know. She is being pulled to something but doesn’t understand. William identifies with her. She knows she doesn’t want to go back to her old life.

She looks up at the full moon and she has a memory of lying dead on the ground and the clean up crew showing up and hovering over her. She faints into Williams’ arms.

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William, Logan and the Bounty Hunter locate the outlaw holed up in a farmhouse. They storm the place and get in a shoot out.  Logan of course shoots everyone that moves but they manage to capture the outlaw.

The outlaw mentions an ‘Alonzo’ and this triggers Logan to shoot the bounty hunter. Logan says they’ve stumbled on a clue that will lead them to the best ride in the park. William and Delores are outraged. Logan even wants to shoot Delores but William points his gun at the outlaw. Logan acquiesces.

“Come on! Go black hat with me!, He pleads to William, ‘She will be just fine with a ride on the dark side and so will you!”

BERNIE / CULLEN / FORD

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Elsie tries to explain to Cullen that they need more data to explain why the stray from last week committed suicide. Cullen wants her team to lead the investigation and Bernie doesn’t fight it. Elsie confronts Bernie, however about why he won’t admit that the hosts are acting oddly and that it may be a systemic problem.  Bernie assures her that this was a one off and that the hosts are not imagining things but that it is her imagination running away with her.

Bernie and Cullen continue their affair and Cullen tells him she’s nervous about her meeting with Ford. Bernie lovingly gives her some tips on how to act with Ford and makes her feel better.

“Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you can be quite charming”, she tells him.

Cullen finds Ford out in the park overseeing the implementing of his new narrative which is a large endeavor. They seem to be on a Mexican plantation. They are served lunch on a veranda overlooking the fields. Cullen tells him that the Board is concerned about the size of the changes being made for his narrative.

“You don’t like this place, do you?” Ford asks her.

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Cullen tells him the story of how she came there with her parents when she was a little girl. She thinks she came to the very place that they are now having lunch. She loved it then but when she came to work there that she knew she wouldn’t like it.  Then she notices that their server has been pouring her wine for a while and the wine is overflowing in the glass.  He has gone still.  She notices every host has gone still. Ford has somehow stopped everything in its tracks.

“We know everything about our guests as we know everything a bout our employees.” Ford tells her. He knows she came here as a child, that she came to this very spot. He advises her to be careful with Bernard, “he has a sensitive disposition.” Ford tells her about starting this place with his partner, Arnold.

“Arnold always held a dim view of people. He preferred the hosts. In here we were gods and you merely our guests. Arnold lost his perspective. He went mad. I haven’t. As you well know, I’ve always seen things very clearly.”

Ford tells her he has seen many people come and go, some he got along with and some he didn’t but the park always moved along.

“I will ask you nicely. Please don’t get in my way.” He tells her very coldly.

Cullen is shaken. “The Board will agree with me.  They’re sending a representative.” She tells Ford.

“They already have.” He says.  Could he mean Blackie?

Then Cullen sees a massive turbine come out of the ground and start tearing up the earth all around where they’re sitting.  “I’m not the sentimental type.” Ford tells her.

BLACKIE AND HIS NEW FRIENDS 

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This whole world has a story. I’ve read every page except the last one. I need to know how it ends, what it all means.”  Man In Black

Blackie and Lawrence come to the blood arroyo and find snakes but not the egg laying kind. That is, until they looked in the river and saw Armistice, bathing and covered with a body encompassing snake tattoo.

“Why haven’t I met you before? Where are you headed?” He asks her.

“To retrieve something of great value.” Armistice tells him.

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Black knows what this means. She is planning on busting Hector out of jail. But he doesn’t have time for games. He makes a deal with Armistice. He and Lawrence will bust Hector out and all he wants in return is for her to tell him about her tattoos.

“Have you ever heard of a man named Arnold? He helped build this place. A place where you can do anything except die. Arnold broke his own rule. He died right here in the park, But I think he had one story left to tell. A story with real stakes, real violence. You can say I’m here to honor his legacy. Your tattoo is the key to the problem.”

She agrees. Black and Lawrence turn themselves in to get taken to the prison and they bust him out.

Armistice tells Blackie a bout the masked men in devil horns that attacked her town and killed her mother. She has been tracking them down and killing them one by one and using their blood to paint her skin.

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Only one man left, the ‘head of the snake’. His name is Wyatt.

Black and Lawrence go after Wyatt and find teddy tied to a tree, tortured but still alive.

“Please put me out of my misery” Teddy begs.

“Sorry Teddy. Looks like misery is all you’ve got.” Black says.

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Wyatt is part of Ford’s new narrative.  It seems every host is in on it.

MAEVE

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Maeve and Clementine discuss the size of a guests penis. Yes, locker room talk! Then Maeve notices blood coming out of Clementine’s eyes. A guest seems to have gone on a mad shooting spree and kills everyone in the saloon including Maeve. The clean up crew arrives dressed in hazmat suits.

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Maeve seems to be aware of them. She remembers being taken back to the lab and remembers being shot in the stomach. Before you know it she’s back in the saloon talking with Clementine again. She goes to her room and draws a picture of the man in the hazmat suit. She pulls up a board in the floor and she finds a whole pile of similar drawings. How long has she been remembering this?

THE FLOOR SHOW

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Hector and Armistice ride into town just as they did in Episode two. They are accompanied by a couple of guests. They start to shoot up the town as Bizet’s Carmen plays. As usual they want the safe that’s in the saloon. This time Maeve pulls a gun on Hector when he enters the saloon. I don’t think this is part of the usual narrative. She takes him upstairs and to a room where the safe is.

“I’ll give you the combination in exchange for some answers.” Maeve says.

“You assume I have any answers. This world is madness.” Hector is obviously a chaos theory believer.

She shows him the drawing she made and wants to know what he knows about it.  Meanwhile, security sees a group of guests are coming into town so they decide to end the floor show early. So the sheriff with a small group of deputies start taking control.

Hector tells her the figure in her drawing is “the man who walks between worlds, sent from hell to oversee our world.”

Maeve remembers being shot in the stomach so she asks hector to stick his knife in her belly. He cannot bring himself to do it however, so she does it herself. The sheriff and his men start pounding on the door. Hector reaches into Maeve’s stomach and pulls out a bullet.

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“Then I am not crazy” Maeve says.

The posse is about to come through the door and hector prepares to put up a fight but Maeve stops him.

“What does this mean?” Hector asks.

“None of this matters.” Maeve tells him and starts kissing him as the posse starts shooting through the door and presumably kills them both. Again.

SIDE BYTES

William and Logan work for a company with stakes in the park. Logan seems to have been there many times while this is William’s first time. They also don’t appear to be friends in the real world.

One of the guests is part of Armistice’s gang and recognizes Blackie. “I’m a great admirer of yours. Your foundation saved my sister’s life”, he tells Blackie who seems quite perturbed at being recognized.

“Shut your mouth.  I’m on vacation.” Blackie snaps. Don’t mess with Blackie, son.

What’s palying on the player piano this week? The Cure’s “A Forest.”

Here’s what I found pertaining the episode title:

Cognitive Dissonance (Leon Festinger)

According to cognitive dissonance theory, there is a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions (i.e., beliefs, opinions). When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviors (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance.

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time; performs an action that is contradictory to their beliefs, ideas, or values; or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas or values.[1][2]

Leon Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. An individual who experiences inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and is motivated to try to reduce this dissonance, as well as actively avoid situations and information likely to increase it.[1]

SIDE BYTES

William and Logan work for a company with stakes in the park. Logan seems to have been there many times while this is William’s first time. They also don’t appear to be friends in the real world.

One of the guests is part of Armistice’s gang and recognizes Blackie. “I’m a great admirer of yours. Your foundation saved my sister’s life”, he tells Blackie who seems quite perturbed at being recognized.

“Shut your mouth.  I’m on vacation.” Blackie snaps. Don’t mess with Blackie, son.

What’s playing on the player piano this week? The Cure’s “A Forest.”

The scenes between Bernie and Delores cannot be happening in real time. Did these scenes all take place before William and Logan arrived?

Here’s what I found pertaining the episode title:

Cognitive Dissonance (Leon Festinger)

According to cognitive dissonance theory, there is a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions (i.e., beliefs, opinions). When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviors (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance.

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time; performs an action that is contradictory to their beliefs, ideas, or values; or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas or values.[1][2]

Leon Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. An individual who experiences inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and is motivated to try to reduce this dissonance, as well as actively avoid situations and information likely to increase it.[1]

FIVE THINGS I THINK I KNOW

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1 Blackie is Arnold’s Brother.

2 Ford is crazy!

3 Bernie is a robot! (Ash is a robot! Ash is a goddamn robot!)

4 The Maze is a plan to make the park self sufficient, without human oversight. Ford intends to be God in this closed Universe. He’s Westworld’s Ben (Lost)!

5 Wyatt will turn out to be a robot version of Arnold.

This show has me really thinking and I love it. You definitely need two viewings of each episode to have a chance.